New street mural comes to Lents Town Center

Here’s why this outer East Portland side street has become more colorful, and who the Lents neighborhood volunteers were who made it possible …

Many people gather to make SE 91st Avenue a more colorful place, in the Lents neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

People gathered on Saturday morning, September 7, to paint a mural on SE 91st Avenue, between Reedway Street and Foster Road – and afterward to have a street party in the afternoon.

The painted street runs between two ROSE Community Development Corporation apartment complexes – the newly-opened Woody Guthrie Place, and the established Reedway Place buildings.

Coming from a couple of blocks away in the neighborhood are these painters, Eleanor and Myrna, and their mom Abby Lotz.

“People here have liked other street paintings around the area – so now our residents and neighbors are coming together to bring something beautiful to this neighborhood,” said project coordinator Ana Meza with the Lents Youth Initiative.

Artist and muralist Rodolfo Serna, who was behind the “Art Intersection Project” in July near NAYA Generations, was also there to provide expertise on this one.

After designing the mural, based on input from the community, artist Rodolfo Serna carries paint cans over to the street painters.

“Some of the themes in this painting were inspired by participants in the Lents Youth Initiative, and their desire to build a community-supporting mural that represents the community in the area,” Serna told East Portland News. “One of the strongest images for me is the young people holding a world – that’s holding a house from falling over into the water.”

Using paint rollers to fill in large areas of the street mural are participants with the Lents Youth Initiative.

“The images also include hands coming together, a symbol of being united as a community,” Serna went on. “And then the tree, itself, is budding fruit, which is again representative of the neighbors and the blossoming of this neighborhood.

“There’s also an image of Mt. Hood, a person in a boat, and another figure, with their shadow transforming into a bird.”

“When people see this, I hope that they will feel a sense of community from it,” Serna said, as he went back to work.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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